This was a pretty big week for us. First of all, we had the poultry show on Saturday. I was really happy with how we did. Farmboy’s little Serama cockerel won a Quality Award as well as Tabletop Junior Champion with the American Serama Association. I actually didn’t think his little bird would qualify for anything. He’s not a recognized color, so he doesn’t qualify for Best of Breed. I knew about Tabletop showing and had started training him to pose on the table, but didn’t know there would be a Tabletop class at this show or that he would automatically entered in it. We didn’t compete against a lot of birds because the fall show is typically a smaller show, but Farmboy was ecstatic to get a rosette and a plaque. It was definitely a confidence builder. He also got a lot of nice compliments on his bird from other Serama breeders.
Farmboy’s favorite part of the show is showmanship. For some reason, my quiet, reserved son *cough* likes getting up on stage and talking to a stranger about his chicken. The judge asked him his chicken’s name and he called to me off stage to ask me. He always has a way of making the judges laugh. It’s just Pee-Wee Showmanship, so the kids aren’t expected to actually know a lot, but it’s great practice for when they get older. All of the kids in Pee-Wee get a rosette for participation.
My birds didn’t do too bad either. I had one hen in particular who place Champion Continental under one judge and Reserve Continental under another judge. That means out of all of the breeds in Continental Class (including Barnevelders, Marans, Campines, Hamburgs, Lakenvelders, Welsummers, Polish, Houdans, Crevecoeurs, Faverolles and La Fleche), she places first and second place. It’s a huge accomplishment for any breeder. It also qualified her to compete for Champion Large Fowl and Best of Show.
Sunday was Reformation Sunday. Our church does a potluck, followed by Highland Games. Everyone is encouraged to wear plaid and several men wear kilts. I made these kilts for Hubby and Farmboy last year for the celebration. I had started a plaid dress for myself, but never finished it. I tried to finish it for this year, but I spent so much time getting ready for the poultry show that I didn’t get the dress finished this year either. Hubby convinced me to wear my renaissance gown, which has been in storage for a while. I didn’t really want to because I don’t like the attention and we typically walk into church late. I really didn’t want to walk in late dressed in this gown. Sitting in the back isn’t an option either, the hoop skirt means front row or bust. Well, despite all of our best efforts, we still walked in late. Thankfully, everyone was standing and singing, so only half of the church saw us walk in. Thankfully, our music director is trained in theater, so she kept her composure. It was still a small miracle that she didn’t break into laughter. I just wish I would have planned far enough in advance that I could have ironed my skirts first.
Back on the farm, it was life as usual. Our pregnant sow was due this week, so we’ve been on piglet watch. Nothing yet. She is huge and miserable, kind of like a pregnant woman who is overdue. She’s been spending a lot of time just laying in the mud.
A little back story on this photo: We bought a small round bale to mulch the garden and bed the pig pen for our sow. Obviously, the netting wasn’t wrapped very tight. We set it off to the side until we were ready to use it. I really wanted to use the tractor to move it to the garden since that was were the bulk of the hay would be used. The goats have access to the horses’ large round bale, which is much higher quality hay, so I didn’t think they would pay attention to this bale. Well, if there is one thing you can count on, it’s that goats will get into things they shouldn’t. First, Nessie decided to remove the netting herself…with her horns. Luckily, I’m home all day and spend most of my day outside, so I found her before she got into too much trouble and cut her out of the netting. Bad news is it’s now impossible for me to move the hay with the tractor. I’ll have to use the wagon to move it load by load to the garden. Naturally, the goats are doing their best to spread it all over the ground and make themselves a nice comfy bed.
I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been washing a lot of birds lately, but Farmboy has become obsessed with catching and holding the ducks. They’re thrilled with this latest activity, can’t you tell? He also keeps letting them out of their pen, which makes me a little nervous because our Great Pyrenees, Annie, has been known to play tag with the birds. It doesn’t generally end well for the birds, so I’m having to keep a close eye on everyone. I think my next project is going to be new duck pens big enough that he can just go in there and play with the ducks.
And I’m very excited to report that my bantam Barnevelders have started laying, or at least one of them has. Florida’s days don’t get as short in the winter as up north. With the cooler temps, my birds actually tend to lay better in the winter than in the summer. The chicks who hatched in spring are also getting old enough to start laying now, which is when these bantams were hatched. I’m impressed that they lay such large eggs for a bantam, especially since this is a first egg. The eggs could actually get bigger as they get older. Now I just need to work on breeder for darker eggs.
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